The Pembroke College Junior Common Room Art Collection was the first of its kind in Oxford. It was started by undergraduates in 1947 and has remained under their administration since. Although supported and encouraged by the Governing Body of the College it is still fully owned by the JCR. The collection was the inspiration of Anthony Emery, a mature undergraduate who came to Pembroke to read History following his return from the Second World War. Upon his arrival at Pembroke College in 1947 Emery suggested to his fellow students that he would like to establish a student art collection which would provide the Junior Common Room with good modern pictures and a measure of patronage for modern British artists who yet had to achieve fame. The Collection’s raison d’etre came to include the hire of pictures by members of the JCR for display in their rooms. This was not simply to decorate but to educate. Demand was so high amongst the students that a lottery system had to be set in place. The fact that the JCR enthusiastically embraced Emery’s idea is almost as extraordinary as the idea itself. Students agreed to pay £1 a term in order to create a fund for the purchase of art by emerging British artists.
In May 1997 the Pembroke College Oxford JCR Art Collection Fund was incorporated as a registered charity. The object of this Trust being 'to advance the education of undergraduate members of Pembroke College, Oxford by the acquisition and display to them of artworks of high quality by contemporary artists'.
It is stressed that the paintings at Pembroke College Oxford JCR Art Collection are not in public ownership. In accordance with the charitable aims of the College, which is a private institution, we are including our paintings on this website to widen public awareness and for the benefit of scholarship.